Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



H (continued)
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Heiress (1949)

In director William Wyler's great romantic drama based on Henry James' 1880 novella Washington Square, set in mid-19th century New York City:

  • the main title character -- plain, repressed, shy, virginal and gawky 'heiress' daughter Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland), who lived with her wealthy, arrogant, imperiously abusive, and domineering, widowed, patriarchal physician Dr. Sloper (Ralph Richardson)
  • the scene in which Catherine was awakened to love at an engagement party and later in her house (with his piano-playing) by the seductive charm of young scheming fortune hunter Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), a handsome, but penniless, mysterious suitor and mercenary
Catherine Desperately in Love with Morris Townsend
(Montgomery Clift)
  • the agonizing scene on the night of their elopement as she waited hour after hour in the front drawing room at the window - and finally realized that she was jilted; Townsend had vanished after learning from her that her father threatened disinheritance with an amended will
  • the scene of Catherine's ultimate revenge in the devastating conclusion after she came into her inheritance; her anger had been suppressed and simmered, but then surfaced when insincere scoundrel Townsend returned and again asked for her hand in marriage; she accepted Morris' proposal, but then told her widowed Aunt Lavinia Penniman (Miriam Hopkins) her real intentions: ("He came back with the same lies, the same silly phrases...He has grown greedier with the years. The first time, he only wanted my money. Now he wants my love, too. Well, he came to the wrong house, and he came twice. I shall see that he never comes a third time....Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters")
  • on the night of a second promised elopement in a stunning climactic scene of ultimate revenge, she closed all the curtains and sat calmly in her parlor finishing her embroidery while he futilely banged on the locked, bolted front door while calling out her name; taking a lighted gas lamp in her hand, the steely-eyed, revenge-purged Catherine coldly walked up the long, extremely steep flight of stairs in the front hallway, as she listened to returning suitor Morris frantically banging on the outside of the bolted door and calling her name: "Catherine, Catherine, Catherine!"; she turned a curve at the top of the stairs, gaining both perverse and proud satisfaction from jilting him, and triumphantly fulfilling a promise to herself; the film's 'The End' appeared on the screen, before the film faded to the Paramount Pictures logo
Catherine's Revenge

Shy "Heiress" Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland)

Abusively Domineering Father Dr. Sloper
(Ralph Richardson)

Catherine with Aunt Lavinia (Miriam Hopkins)

Conclusion: Morris Townsend Banging on the Bolted Door: "Catherine, Catherine, Catherine!"

Hell's Angels (1930)

In director Howard Hughes' epic war adventure/drama about WWI combat pilots:

  • the realistic aerial dogfights and German zeppelin raids on London
  • the early scenes of a sexy platinum blonde Helen (Jean Harlow in her first role) - the two-timing, slutty fiancée of unsuspecting Roy (James Hall), who wore a slinky velvet evening dress (with beaded straps) that barely covered her breasts as she encouragingly and enticingly asked Roy's brother Monte Rutledge (Ben Lyon) to take her home during a dance, while Roy was occupied with committee matters: "Tired. Take me home, Monte...It's not far. I've taken a flat in town near canteen headquarters"; once they arrived by car out in front of her apartment, she asked: "Are we here?..Wanna come up for a cigarette and a drink?...Come see my room. I've only had a place of my own for a week. It's a new toy"
  • the famed scene in her apartment where she delivered a memorable line to him after serving him a drink, and chugging down her own drink: "Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?" - he answered: "I'll try to survive" - and then as she retreated into her bedroom, she let her wrap fall off her bare-back
The Sexy Helen Retreating Into Her Bedroom
  • during the seduction scene, after she appeared back at her bedroom door, she was obviously bra-less and naked under her white-trimmed, low-cut dark robe; she sat herself down on the couch as Monte asked the follow-up: "Well, are you more comfortable now?"; she confessed to Monte about her real feelings about her fiancee Roy, her philosophy of life and her desire not to be tied down with marriage and family: "You're not a bit like Roy, are you?...He wouldn't approve of me either if he knew what I really like...When I'm with Roy, I'm the way Roy wants me to be"; when asked if she really loved Roy, she admitted: "No, not really. Not the way Roy wants me to love him. I can't. Roy's love means marriage and children and never anyone but Roy. I couldn't bear that. I want to be free. I want to be gay and have fun. Life's short, and I want to live when I'm alive"; she enticingly reclined back, almost inviting him to kiss her; when he balked and began to excuse himself to leave, she allowed herself to be pulled up into his arms for a forbidden kiss; they were frozen, inches away from each other's lips for a few moments before they kissed; the scene faded to black as they embraced and lowered themselves back onto the couch
A Night of Seduction
  • afterwards, in the apres-sex sequence, Monte felt "gloomy," worried, and awful about cheating on his brother: "God, I'm rotten..." and he called her "rotten" too for two-timing his brother - she threw him out: "Get out of here!...Get out! And stay out!"

Aerial Dogfights

The Love Triangle - (l to r): Roy, Helen, Monte

Helen to Monte: "Wanna come up for a cigarette and a drink?"

Helen to Monte:
"Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?"

Hell's Highway (1932)

In director Rowland Brown's hard-hitting indictment of the sadistic prison chain-gang system (the first of its kind in the film industry), by RKO's David Selznick, similar to Warners' soon-to-be-released I Am A Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932) - about prisoners employed to construct "Liberty Road County Highway" for unscrupulous private contractor William Billings (Oscar Apfel) on a tight budget and timeline:

  • the opening credits sequence (with a chorus sung by Frieta Shaw's Etude Ethiopian Chorus) - a montage of newspaper headlines detailing the cruel atrocities of a prison 'death camp' inflicted upon various inmates; a prologue stated: "Dedicated to an early end of the conditions portrayed herein - which, though a throwback to the Middle Ages, actually exist today."
  • the sequence continued with the chained-up prisoners roused from their bunks to wash and prepare for their grueling day of labor on the "Liberty Highway" - all prisoners had targets on the backs of their jumpsuits
  • the introduction of the heroic character of 'forgotten man' prisoner Frank 'Duke' Ellis (Richard Dix), a tough con and repeat offender
Targets on Prisoner Jumpsuits
Carter's Sweat-Box Death-Suicide
Inmate Protest Led by Duke
  • the early scene of the torture and death of hapless young prisoner Joe Carter (John Arledge), who paused during the harsh workday (to look down at his blistered hands) and was punished by being taken to "the hospital" (prison-speak for a coffin-shaped sweatbox composed of sheet metal) where he committed suicide by self-strangulation (on the chain strapped around his neck to help hold him in place); the word of his death spread fast: ("Carter's dead. Strangled to death in the sweat box. The contractor says the boy committed suicide")
  • the resultant angry protest by fellow prisoners about Carter's death before a meal, when they passed along the news ("Carter's dead"), and Duke complained about not having spoons to eat when lined up in the mess hall at tables facing bowls of soup
  • the scene of Duke saving his younger brother Johnny Ellis (Tom Brown) from being incarcerated in the sweatbox, in exchange for agreeing to get the other prisoners to cooperate and complete the road project
  • the whipping-punishment scene of Duke, whose military tattoo on his back caused the guard to pause in mid-air
  • the masterminding and execution of a major prison-break, fire and riot, causing retaliation and a massive search party of men with guns - who were promised: "You'll get $50 dollars a head for every convict you bring back"; after freeing several guards from the fire before escaping himself, Johnny was shot and wounded by a search team, then found by Duke, and carried back to the camp; instead of both brothers being charged wth murder and as ringleaders of the escape attempt, Johnny was vindicated for saving the guards ("Why this boy saved every guard in camp from being burned to death!")
Search Party After Prison Break
Johnny Shot and Wounded
Duke's Rescue of Johnny - Carried Back to Camp
  • in the conclusion, after Johnny was taken to the hospital, the governor informed Billings that he was under arrest for Carter's murder and was responsible for the inhumane sweatbox: "When I think of what's happened here ... It's going to affect your treatment of the human beings in the state...It wouldn't have happened if you hadn't driven the men into it. This finishes you, Billings...this looks as if you have to answer for the death of that Carter boy" - and Duke was called to testify as a witness against him (Duke to Billings: "You always wanted me to turn stool-pigeon, Billings. I never knew what a pleasure it could be until now")

The Liberty Road

Prisoners Chained In Their Bunks

Frank 'Duke' Ellis
(Richard Dix)

Duke Saving Younger Brother Johnny

Duke's Whipping - and Display of His Military Tattoo

Ending: The Governor (on left) Charged Road-Building Contractor Billings With the Murder of Carter

Hellzapoppin' (1941)

In Henry C. Potter's referential, inventive, mind-bending, zany and anarchistic comedy - a haphazard film adaptation of the 1938 Broadway musical revue that mocked traditional narratives and plot conventions:

  • the mind-boggling opening sequence - a film within a film: limousines arrived at the Universal Theatre, and projectionist Louie (Shemp Howard) was loading film reels in the projection booth - a group of chorus girls were singing on stage and walking forward on a staircase during a song-and-dance number when they suddenly slid downwards as the stage tilted and collapsed - and they appeared to be descending into the flames of hell behind the title card
  • the title card's warning: "...any similarity between HELLZAPOPPIN' and a motion picture is purely coincidental"
  • the scene switched to a view of Dante's Inferno, where devilish, tormenting figures were heating up and sharpening their pitchforks in preparation to roast pretty girls on rotating BBQ spits; they were also 'canning' both males and females into metal drum barrels labeled "Canned Guy" and "Canned Gal"; during the crazed mayhem and chaos, a taxi-cab arrived carrying the show's producers - vaudevillians Chic Johnson (Himself) and Ole Olsen (Himself) ("That's the first taxi driver that ever went straight where I told him to!")
  • the two often "broke the fourth wall" as they addressed the projectionist: "Hey Louie, rewind this film, will ya?"; Louie objected: "What's the matter with you guys? Don't you know you can't talk to me and the audience?"; Ole and Chic disagreed: "Well, we're doin' it, aren't we? (giggling) Yes, folks. This is Hellzapoppin'!"; Louie added: "This is screwy, the actors talkin' to me up here" - and he began to rewind the film
  • eventually, it was revealed as the camera pulled back that the two were on a Hollywood sound stage during the filming of the screen adaptation of the musical, by Miracle Pictures
Show's Producers:
Chic Johnson (Himself) and Ole Olsen (Himself)
  • in a completely natural and fluid sequence, Ole and Chic walked through a series of movie sets, as their costumes changed in each one; in an icy Eskimo set, they came upon the "Rosebud" sled from Citizen Kane (1941) and remarked: "I thought they burned that"
  • there were many visual gags such as the careless projectionist's manipulation of the picture -- splitting the film frame, breaking up the frame horizontally, dislocating the film frame in its sprockets, freezing the frame, and the upside down projection of the frame; or his inappropriate changing of the scenery -- Ole and Chic found themselves in a shoot-'em-up cowboys and Indians western (they yelled at the projectionist: "Louie, Louie, look. You put on the wrong picture...Louie, will you take those phony Hollywood Indians off the screen?...Now put on our picture, come on, come on")
Film Frame Broken Horizontally
Eskimo Set with "Rosebud" Sled
Shoot 'Em-Up Western Set
  • the film's inserted, predictable plot: a love triangle between musician and play manager Jeff Hunter (Robert Paige), his wealthy love interest - the lead actress Kitty Rand (Jane Frazee), and her dull fiancee Woody Taylor (Lewis Howard)
  • the five-minute, gravity-defying, high-energy dance performance by Whitey's Lindy Hoppers (billed as the Harlem Congaroo Dancers)
  • the Busby Berkeley-inspired choreographed swimming sequences
  • the many absurdist examples of non-sensical humor (some with special effects), including half-invisible men (one from the waist down, and one from the waist up), a fireworks gun that shot out a man with a parachute ("Wrong gun!"), a bear on a scooter and a pogo stick, a mysteries-magazine reader who used car headlights and the footlights and spotlights of the "Broadway Bound" stage show as a light source, sticky flypaper on the feet of a male dancer, and fake ducks laying eggs
  • the film's ending dialogue, when the frustrated director (Richard Lane) became disgusted by the script and shouted at screenwriter Harry Selby (Elisha Cook, Jr.), who was drinking a glass of water:
    - "Talking bears! Talking dogs! People who disappear! Slapstick comedy! What kind of a script is that?"
    - "Well, I didn't tell you, but I saw Hellzapoppin' in New York and I thought it was very funny."
    - "Well, here's what I think of it." (gunshots)
    - "Well, you can't hurt me that way. I always wear a bullet-proof vest around the studios." (water poured from bullet holes in his chest)

Opening Sequence

Title Card Warning

Dante's Inferno: Girl's Rotating On BBQ Spits

Screenwriter With Bullet Holes in Chest

The Help (2011)

In director Tate Taylor's poignant, early 1960s-era drama about racism, based upon Kathryn Stockett's novel, about two black maids ('the help') in Jackson, Mississippi who were interviewed about their lives taking care of prominent white families

  • the strong relationship between the film's two main characters - black maids: Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) - who worked for Elizabeth "Miss Leefolt" (Ahna O'Reilly), and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), who at first worked for Hilly Holbrook's mother, Mrs. Walters (Sissy Spacek)
  • the character of racist, bigoted, snooty segregationist housewife Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) who demanded a 'separate but equal' toilet for her housemaid Minny, because of her worry about sanitary conditions and the catching of some strange disease
  • the 'white trash' bottle blonde and socially-inept Celia Rae Foote (Jessica Chastain) who was taught by her pie-making black maid Minny Jackson to cook, so that she could impress her wealthy socialite husband Johnny Foote (Mike Vogel), Hilly's ex-boyfriend
  • aspiring, liberal-minded writer/journalist and recent Univ. of Mississippi graduate-debutante Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) writing for the Jackson, Mississippi newspaper (The Jackson Journal), and secretly interviewing the two reluctant black housemaids Aibileen and Minny - and taking notes for her anonymously-published secret book The Help, to tell the unknown stories of their experiences as servants-maids ("the help"), and to expose rampant racism; she began by telling Aibileen: "There's something else I want to write about. I would need your help. I want to interview you about what it's like to work as a maid. I'd like to do a book of interviews about workin' for white families...I was hopin' to get four or five. To show what it's really like in Jackson. Show what y'all get paid, and the babies and the bathrooms. The good and the bad"
  • the scene of Celia's bloody miscarriage in a bathroom
  • the "Terrible Awful" episode related by Minny to 'Skeeter' - the spiteful feeding of two slices of baked chocolate pie (one ingredient was Minny's shit) to Hilly, who complimented her: ("What do you put in here that makes it taste so good?!") - Minny replied: ("That good vanilla from Mexico and somethin' else real special") - and then admitted: "Eat my shit!"; Hilly began to gag and then raced from the dining room
The "Terrible Awful" Episode:
Chocolate Pie-Eating by Hilly
  • the shooting of civil rights activist Medgar Evers in June 1963, announced by the city bus stopping and forcing the disembarkment of the black passengers
  • the revelation, the last story for the book, told to 'Skeeter' by her cancer-stricken mother Charlotte Phelan (Allison Janney), about why she had 'broken the heart' of the family's long-time, elderly and ill maid Constantine (Cicely Tyson) (the servant/nanny who had raised 'Skeeter', seen in flashback) by unnecessarily firing her in order to save face among other white ladies during a DAR luncheon; she recalled how elderly Constantine had become frail and incompetent during the serving of the DAR lunch: (Charlotte: "She didn't give me a choice. The Daughters of America had just appointed me state regent. Grace Higginbotham, our esteemed president, came all the way down from Washington, D.C., to our house for the ceremony...She'd gotten so old and slow, Skeeter") - and then Constantine's daughter Rachel (LaChanze) arrived - awkwardly - at the front door and embarrassed Charlotte by barging into the dining room to see her mother; at the strong urging of Grace Higginbotham, Charlotte fired her maid Constantine: ("Get out of this house, Rachel...Both of you. Leave. Now!") - after walking out the front door, Constantine appeared stunned; Charlotte explained with a lame excuse to 'Skeeter' that she had to save face: ("She was our president. What was I supposed to do?")
  • the final scene in which black maid Aibileen Clark was framed for theft (of "silver") by a vindictive and vengeful Hilly: ("Maybe I can't send you to jail for what you wrote, but I can send you for being a thief") - Aibileen then chastised the dishonest and prejudiced Hilly to her face and stood up to her, calling her a "godless woman": ("I know something about you. Don't you forget that. From what Yule May says, there's a lot of time to write letters in jail. Plenty of time to write the truth about you. And the paper is free....I been told I'm a pretty good writer. Already sold a lot of books...All you do is scare and lie to try to get what you want...You a godless woman. Ain't you tired, Miss Hilly? Ain't you tired?")
  • this was followed by the firing and departure of Aibileen from her domestic job as a maid for Elizabeth, after being urged on by Hilly, followed by her touching explanation to Elizabeth's daughter - the pale, chubby, abandoned toddler Mae Mobley (Eleanor/Emma Henry), that she had to go; the young child begged: "Please don't leave...Are you going to take care of another little girl?"; Aibileen explained: "No, that's not the reason. I don't want to leave ya, but it's time for me to retire. You're my last little girl....Baby. Baby. I need you to remember everything I told you, OK?...You remember what I told you?" - the little girl answered: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important"; Aibileen confirmed her words: "That's right, Baby Girl"
  • afterwards, the wailing cries of Mae were heard calling out to her at the window ("Don't go A-a-a-aibee!"); Aibileen recalled the moment - in voice-over, and then expressed her hope to become a writer, in the film's final line of dialogue: ("Mae Mobley was my last baby. In just ten minutes, the only life I knew was done....God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by tellin' the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that, I felt free. And I got to thinkin' about all the people I know. And the things I seen and done. My boy Trelaw always said we gonna have a writer in the family one day. I guess it's gonna be me")
Aibileen Telling Mae Mobley That She Must Leave After Being Fired
The Departure of Aibileen
  • after her firing, Aibileen's long walk down the suburban street as the credits rolled

Two Black "Help" Maids: Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer)

Segregationist Housewife Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard)

"Skeeter" Listening to Minny's Story About the Pie

Minny to Hilly: "Eat my shit!"

"Skeeter" Writing for the Jackson Journal and Interviewing Aibileen

Charlotte Phelan
(Allison Janney)

Charlotte's Story About Firing Constantine (Cicely Tyson) and Telling Her and Her Daughter Rachel to Get Out

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) (released in 1990)

In John McNaughton's disturbing "fictional dramatization," based upon the account of real-life convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas:

  • the realistic, detached cinema-verite documentary style filming that enhanced each brutal, gory and violent killing by serial killer Henry (Michael Rooker) and his dim-witted, paroled, roommate-prison buddy Otis (Tom Towles)
Still Images of Murder Victims
  • the numerous sickening, brutally-violent, off-screen and on-screen murders by the pair of psychotic killers - seen as still shots of Henry's trail of carnage in Illinois - they were the death poses of many of the murder victims (killed off-screen), sometimes with accompanying sounds of their screams or death struggle: the death of a young woman left in a grassy field, shots-to-the-heads of a storeowner couple (Elizabeth and Ted Kaden), a prostitute (Mary Demas) killed in a bathroom with a broken soda bottle in her face, a partially-clothed female corpse (Denise Sullivan) lying face-down and floating in a body of water, and a female murdered in her living room - strangled with a power cord wrapped around her throat and cigarette burns on her chest and face
  • the repeated stabbing of smart-alec TV salesman/fence (Ray Atherton) with a soldering iron (first in the hand) and smashing of a cheap $50 B/W TV over his head, after which Otis plugged in the set to end his life by electrocution
  • after Otis' frustrated statement, "I'd like to kill somebody," he randomly shot a 'Good Samaritan' (Rick Paul) in an overpass tunnel on the side of the downtown freeway, to make himself "feel better"
  • the disturbing killings of a helpless family (a couple and their son) (Lisa Temple, Brian Graham, and Sean Ores) in their suburban home, poorly-videotaped for repeated viewings by both Henry and partner-in-crime Otis on their sofa
  • the conclusion which documented the eventual killing of Otis (and his beheading in a bathtub) when Henry found him strangling and raping his sister Becky (Tracy Arnold) - Henry's 'girlfriend' - and then fled with her, only to dump her body the very next day in her heavy blood-stained suitcase by the roadside
Otis Stabbed in Chest by Henry and Then Beheaded
Becky in Suitcase?

Henry Lee Lucas
(Michael Rooker)

Smashed TV Set Into Head of Salesman

Killing of Good Samaritan

Videotaped Murder of Family

(King) Henry V (1944, UK) (aka The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France)

In Laurence Olivier's adaptation of Shakespeare's staged play - a winner of Honorary Awards in 1946:

  • the opening sequence - a panorama of the city of London in 1600, and a view into Shakespeare's 17th century Globe Theatre (Playhouse), where a stage-bound play, Henry the Fift, was to be presented - with the remarkable transition from the theatre to the plains of Agincourt before the famous battle in 1415 A.D.
The Opening Sequence
  • the narrated prologue of Chorus (Leslie Banks) delivered on the stage to the Globe Playhouse's audience, urging them to use their imaginations: ("O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention, a kingdom for a stage, princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all, the flat unraised spirits that have dared on this unworthy scaffold to bring forth so great an object: Can this cockpit hold the vasty fields of France? Or may we cram within this wooden O the very casques that did affright the air at Agincourt?..On your imaginary forces work. Suppose within the girdle of these walls are now confined two mighty monarchies, whose high upreared and abutting fronts the perilous narrow ocean parts asunder: Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts. Think when we talk of horses, that you see them printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth; for 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, carry them here and there, jumping o'er times, turning the accomplishment of many years into an hour-glass: for the which supply, admit me Chorus to this history; who prologue-like your humble patience pray, gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play")
  • the characterization of Shakespeare's Plantagenet King Henry V (Oscar-nominated Laurence Olivier)
  • the scene of King Henry V's first rousing, morale-boosting battle speech as he exhorted his troops for battle against the French at the siege of Harfleur (outside the walls), astride his horse, garbed in armor and swinging his sword: ("Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility. But when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger. Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood. Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage. Then lend the eye a terrible aspect. Let pry through the portage of the head like the brass cannon. Let the brow o'erwhelm it as fearfully as doth a galled rock o'erhang and jutty his confounded base, swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit to his full height. On, on, you noblest English whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!...")
  • King Henry's St. Crispin's Day address-speech to his weary troops before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415: ("This story shall the good man teach his son and Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remember'd; we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne'er so base. And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin's Day")
  • the magnificently-created Battle of Agincourt war scene - both stylized and realistic (with archers letting forth a volley of arrows), with Britain's victory over the French in 1415
  • the subsequence sequence of King Henry's courting of Princess Katherine (Renee Asherson)

Shakespeare's Plantagenet King Henry V (Laurence Olivier)

King Henry V's First Rousing Battle Speech

St. Crispin's Day Speech

Battle of Agincourt

King Henry's Courting of Princess Katherine (Renee Asherson)

Henry V (1989, UK)

In writer/director/producer/actor Branagh's superb film version of Shakespeare's play - his feature-film directorial debut:

  • the Chorus' (Derek Jacobi) prologue (see quote above) to introduce the play
  • King Henry V's (Kenneth Branagh) dramatic, silhouetted entrance through a towering portal
  • the scene of Henry's morale-boosting speech (astride his horse with his sword held high) to his troops before an attack on the walled city of Harfleur ("Once more unto the breach, dear friends! Once more, or close the wall up with our English dead! [Explosion] In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility. But when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger! Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage. Then lend the eye a terrible aspect. Let it pry through the portage of the head like the brass cannon. Let the brow o'erwhelm it as fearfully as doth a galled rock, o'erhang and jetty his confounded base, swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit to his full height! On, on, you noblest England! Now attest that those whom you called fathers did beget you. And you, good yeoman, whose limbs were made in England, show us here the mettle of your pasture. Let us swear that you are worth your breeding, which I doubt not! For there is none of you so mean and base that hath not noble luster in your eyes! I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start. The game's afoot! Follow your spirit, and upon this charge, cry, 'God for Harry, England and Saint George!'")
  • the King's inspired pre-battle address to his weary troops on St. Crispin's Day before the Battle of Agincourt against the French: ("...We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon St. Crispin's Day")
King Henry V's Pre-Battle Address on St. Crispin's Day
  • the French realization during the Battle that they had lost, and their unchivalrous murder of young and defenseless English pages; Henry's officer Fluellen (Ian Holm) was appalled by the carnage, and expressed his raging disgust: "Kill the boys and the luggage. 'Tis expressly against the law of arms. 'Tis as errant a piece of knavery, mark you now, as can be offered. In your conscience, now, is it not?"
  • after the Battle of Agincourt, the extended tracking shot as King Henry carried the body of Falstaff's Boy (Christian Bale), slung over his shoulder, across the bloody and muddy field of Agincourt, to the somber singing of the Agincourt Hymn: 'Non nobis, Domine'
Aftermath of The Battle of Agincourt
  • the long sequence of his begging for the love and hand in marriage of French Princess Katherine (Emma Thompson), first in broken French and then in English: "But tell me, Kate, Canst thou understand thus much English? Canst thou love me? (I cannot tell.) Well, can any of your neighbors tell, Kate? I'll ask them. By mine honor, in true English, I swear I love thee, by which honor I dare not swear thou lovest me...And, therefore, tell me, most fair Katherine, Will you have me? Come, your answer in broken music, for thy voice is music, and thy English, broken. Therefore, queen of all, Katherine, wilt thou have me?"; when she assented, he responded: "Upon that, I kiss your hand, and I call you my queen"

The Prologue

King Henry V's Entrance

Henry's Rousing Speech Before the Attack on Harfleur

Fluellen Dismayed by the Carnage of Young Boys After the Battle of Agincourt

Marriage Proposal to Princess Katherine (Emma Thompson)

High Anxiety (1977)

In Mel Brooks' hilarious comedy - a satirical parody of famous moments and scenes from various Hitchcock films - and his fourth spoof film after Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), and Silent Movie (1976):

  • the lead starring role of Richard H. Thorndyke (Brooks himself) as a Hitchcock prototype (a wrongly-accused innocent man on the run) - a psychiatrist with acrophobia, and the newly-appointed head of the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous
  • the scene of Thorndyke's airport arrival in Los Angeles (LAX), when an overly aggressive, screaming woman (Pearl Shear) rushed at him, but she was only greeting her husband Harry, and Thorndyke's assessment of everything highlighted by strident orchestral music: "What a dramatic airport!"
  • Thorndyke's photography-obsessed chauffeur Brophy (Ron Carey) ("I love to take pictures. I'm very photogenic"), who during their drive on an LA freeway to the Psycho-Neurotic Institute, revealed the reason for the death of Thorndyke's predecessor - under mysterious circumstances: "I think Dr. Ashley was the victim of - foul play" - with a swelling of dramatic music on the soundtrack, accompanied by the anachronistic view of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra playing on a bus next to them (the gag revealed the difference between a non-diegetic scoring cue and a diegetic one - one heard by the characters)
  • the devious character at the Institute of Nurse Charlotte Diesel (Cloris Leachman) and her pointy-breasted white uniform and manly mustache (she was introduced by staff Dr. Charles Montague (Harvey Korman) as "my right-hand man, woman"), who had strict rules: "Those who are tardy (to dinner) do not get fruit cup"
  • the Nurse doubled as a sadistic, Neo-Nazi dominatrix, with whom Montague later had a closet spanking session: (Montague: "I know you better than you know yourself. You live for bondage and discipline. Too much bondage, not enough discipline")
  • Thorndyke's own tooth-brushing tutorial delivered to his own mirror image as he brushed his teeth: ("Up and down. Up and down. Side, side, side, side, side. In and out. In and out. Side, side, side, side, side (repeated)")
  • the psychiatrist's explanation for Thorndyke's high anxiety over acrophobia - with a flashback to his infancy and his abusive parents, and his insight in an epiphany: "It's not height I'm afraid of. It's parents!"
  • the classic spoof scenes: an attack in a shower a la Psycho (stabbed by an angry bellhop (Barry Levinson) with a rolled-up newspaper ("Here's your paper! Happy now?! Happy?"), after which newspaper ink - not blood - ran down the drain, and Thorndyke's quip: "That boy gets no tip"), and a scatalogical scene involving a massive horde of pigeons on a park's jungle-jim that chased (and pooped) on Thorndyke
Two Hitchcock Spoof Scenes
Shower Stabbing
Pigeon Jungle-Jim Poop
  • Thorndyke's awkward speech to a psychiatric convention in San Francisco, when asked about his use of the term "Penis envy"; when two young children arrived and sat down in the audience, he had to modify his terms, using "pee-pee envy", "balloons" (for breasts), "number one or cocky-doody" (terms related to toilet training), and the "woo-woo" (for the "female erogenous zone" or womb): "As I was saying, in a world of predominantly male-oriented psychology, it was only natural to arrive at the term, pee - Pee, 'Peepee envy'"
  • the copy-catting of Hitchcock's filming style or camera angles - a through-the-door tracking shot into a dining room that crashed through the windowed doors, a low-angle shot looking up through a glass coffee table, but obstructed by a carafe, saucers, etc., an overhead shot in a padded cell (with all the actors suddenly looking up at the camera), and another backwards-moving traveling shot in the final honeymoon scene that literally broke through the wall
Three Copy-Cat Hitchcock Camera Angles or Film Styles
Tracking Shot Through Door
Low Angle Shot
Overhead Shot
  • the obscene phone call scene, when Thorndyke was placing a phone booth call to his love interest Victoria Brisbane (Madeline Kahn), a patient's wealthy daughter, and he was attacked from behind by assassin "Braces" (Rudy DeLuca) (a take-off on Bond's "Jaws"); with the cord wrapped around his throat to strangle him, all he could utter was "Ahhh," "Oooh," and "Uuhh" - after resisting a little, Victoria interpreted his words as kinky sex talk from an anonymous caller and responded: "How did you, uhm, get my room number...What are you wearing?...You're wearing jeans? I'll bet they're tight...Oh my God. You are an animal"; after he killed the attacker, he was able to speak to her, when she back-tracked: "I knew it was you all the time. I just went along with it"
  • the climactic Los Angeles tower scene (a replicated and parodied amalgam of Vertigo and Spellbound) with Thorndyke (phobic about heights and suffering from vertigo - or "high anxiety") and Victoria caught on a crumbling staircase before they were able to vanquish the evil-doers from the Institute who were extorting millions

Thorndyke's Airport Arrival with Screaming Woman

Symphony Orchestra on Passing Bus

Institute Nurse Charlotte Diesel (Cloris Leachman)

Montague's Closet Spanking Session

Thorndyke's Tooth-Brushing Tutorial

Flashback to Thorndyke's Babyhood with Abusive Parents

Psychiatric Convention Speech about "Pee-pee Envy"

Obscene Phone Call Sequence with Victoria Brisbane
(Madeline Kahn)

Concluding Tower Sequence

High Fidelity (2000)

In Stephen Frears' romantic comedy about a painful breakup with a girlfriend:

  • the character of 30-something, commitment-phobic Chicago LP music store (Championship Vinyl) operator Rob Gordon (John Cusack) who had just been dumped by his live-in girlfriend of several years named Laura (Iben Hjejle), a blonde attorney, and he was wallowing in self-pity; he was first seen listening (on headphones, seen from the back) to the Thirteenth Floor Elevators' song "You're Gonna Miss Me"
The Break-Up
  • after the music faded, he spoke: "What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?" - he asked her: "Do you have to go this second? You can stay until whenever." Although he asked her to stay for the night, she left anyway, dragging her belongings down the stairs. He slammed the apartment door behind her, then began to talk about his past breakups, directly at the camera: ("My desert island, all-time top five most memorable breakups, in chronological order, are as follows: Alison Ashmore, Penny Hardwick, Jackie Alden, Charlie Nicholson and Sarah Kendrew. Those were the ones that really hurt. (shouting) Can you see your name on that list, Laura? Maybe you'd sneak into the top ten. But there's just no room for you in the top five. Sorry! Those places are reserved for the kind of humiliation and heartbreak you're just not capable of delivering")
  • after opening up the window and yelling out at her: "If you really wanted to mess me up, you should've gotten to me earlier!", he sat down in his recliner and began to describe in detail his previous top 5 heartbreaks, beginning with the earliest: "Which brings us to number one on the top five, all-time breakup list...Alison Ashmore..."; his recitation of his compulsive list of romantic breakups was seen with flashbacks during his junior high, high school and college days, including the discussion of the top five songs to make love to with his store employees, and Laura's own listing of his five top dream jobs, ending with: "record store owner"; he eventually admitted that Laura was his breakup # 5
Compiling a List of Top-five, All-time, Desert Island
Most Memorable and Painful Breakups with Girlfriends
  • the character of his offbeat, anti-social loudmouth clerk Barry (Jack Black), one of two "musical moron twins," who despised customers who didn't like his musical selections; when an older customer wished to purchase: "I Just Called to Say I Love You," Barry refused to sell it to him: ("Well, it's sentimental, tacky crap, that's why not. Do we look like the kind of store that sells 'I Just Called to Say I Love You'? Go to the mall....Do you even know your daughter? There's no way she likes that song. Oh- uh, oh, is she in a coma?"); the incensed customer replied before storming out: ("Oh, okay, buddy. I didn't know it was Pick On The Middle-Aged Square Guy Day. My apologies. I'll be on my way....F--k you!")
  • the scene of Rob lying-in-his-empty-bed and remembering that he and Laura had once been in bed as they listened to their upstairs neighbor guy Ian 'Ray' Raymond (Tim Robbins); and then Rob's nightmarish fantasy that Laura was having sex with Ian 'Ray' on a creaky bed above him: ("You are as abandoned and noisy as any character in a porn film, Laura. You are Ian's plaything, responding to his touch with shrieks of orgasmic delight. No woman in the history of the world is having better sex than the sex you are having with Ian in my head")
Upstairs Neighbor Ian 'Ray' Raymond
Rob's Jealous Sex Fantasy
  • Rob's discussion of the "Top five things I miss about Laura" - ("One - a sense of humor. Very dry, but it can also be warm and forgiving. And she's got one of the best all-time laughs in the history of all time laughs, she laughs with her entire body. Two - she's got character. Or at least she had character before the Ian nightmare. She's loyal and honest, and she doesn't even take it out on people when she's having a bad day. That's character. Three - I miss her smell, and the way she tastes. It's a mystery of human chemistry and I don't understand it. Some people, as far as their senses are concerned, just feel like home. (He lip-synched 'four' while holding up four fingers) I really dig how she walks around. It's like she doesn't care how she looks or what she projects and it's not that she doesn't care. It's just, she's not affected, I guess, and that gives her grace. And five - she does this thing in bed when she can't get to sleep. She kinda half moans and then rubs her feet together an equal number of times. It just kills me. Believe me, I mean, I could do a top five things about her that drive me crazy, but it's just your garden variety women, you know, schizo stuff and that's the kind of thing that got me here")
  • the funny replays of Rob's fight-fantasy of reacting to a smug Ian in the record store, after Ian stated: ("So shall we leave it at that then?") - one of the alternative fantasies was Rob swearing at him and insulting him to his face: (" pathetic rebound f--k! Now, get your patchouli stink out of my store! Move it, lard-ass! Dumb motherf--ker"); another was viciously beating him up, with the help of his friends; in the final scenario, after Ian said: "Well, think about it, Rob" - Rob didn't react at all

Rob Gordon - Speaking or Looking Directly at Camera

Record Store Clerk Barry (Jack Black)

Rob's Despising of His Upstairs Neighbor Ian 'Ray' Raymond (Tim Robbins)

"Top Five Things I Miss About Laura" Sequence

Fight-Fantasy Replays of Meeting Ian in the Record Store

High Noon (1952)

In Fred Zinnemann's classic and tense black and white Western - linked at the time to the McCarthy hearings (as an allegorical tale about Hollywood's failure to stand up to anti-Communist accusations, and to blacklisting):

  • a masterful portrayal of a deserted, newly-married and retiring Marshal Will Kane (Oscar-winning Gary Cooper) left alone in Hadleyville against vengeful gunslingers led by Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald) after his marriage to Quaker bride (Grace Kelly)
  • Kane's agonized wait for the train that arrived at noon - with numerous, repetitive, large closeup views of clocks ticking in 'real time'
  • the scene of Kane's fist-fight in the livery stable with Harvey Pell (Lloyd Bridges)
  • Kane's beleaguered plea in the local church to enlist deputies and to gain support to help him defend the town against vengeful gunslingers about to arrive: ("It looks like Frank Miller's comin' back on the noon train. I need all the special deputies I can get"); and Mayor Jonas Henderson's (Thomas Mitchell) fears that a violent shoot-out would create a bad image for Hadleyville up North, especially for financial growth and investment support from Northern business interests. But then he concluded by advising Kane to flee town for the good of the local economy: ("He didn't have to come back here today. And for his sake and the sake of this town, I wish he hadn't. Because if he's not here when Miller comes, my hunch is there won't be any trouble, not one bit. Tomorrow, we'll have a new Marshal. And if we can all agree here to offer him our services, I think we can handle anything that comes along. And to me, that makes sense. To me, that's the only way out of this. Will, I think you'd better go while there's still time. It's better for you, and it's better for us")
  • the scene of aging, discarded, arthritic, and embittered ex-marshal Matt Howe (Lon Chaney, Jr.) offering his cynical opinion to Kane about his past profession as a life-long 'tin-star' lawman: ("It's a great life. You risk your skin catchin' killers and the juries turn 'em loose so they can come back and shoot at ya again. If you're honest, you're poor your whole life, and in the end you wind up dyin' all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothin'. For a tin star")
The Ever-Present Clocks Ticking Toward High Noon
The Miller Gang
Kane Writing His Last Will and Testament
  • Kane's writing of a last will and testament
  • the long, upward-moving crane shot that pulled back, revealing the Marshal's forsakenness amidst the storefronts and rooftops of the small community. His tiny figure slowly strode down the middle of the dirt street toward a gripping shootout sequence with the four killers. All alone, he had been utterly betrayed - no one was there to come to his aid: the Judge, his immature deputy, and all his friends and townspeople had turned their backs on him
  • the exciting final shootout (with his wife's aid) against four desperadoes at noon
  • his concluding disavowal of the town by contemptuously throwing his badge into the dirt at his feet, and then riding off in his packed buckboard wagon with Amy; the contemptible crowd that was unwilling to fight to preserve its law and order remained silent as the buckboard went out of view, accompanied by the words of the title song's famous melancholy ballad ("Do not forsake me, oh my darlin'...")

Marriage Ceremony

The Marshal's Plea in the Church

The Response of Mayor Jonas Henderson (Thomas Mitchell)

Matt Howe
(Lon Chaney, Jr.)

Alone For a Final Shootout

High Sierra (1941)

In Raoul Walsh's crime/gangster film noir about a newly-released aging gangster involved in one final heist:

  • the opening title credits scrolling upward from the bottom of the screen, against backdrops of the towering Sierra Mountains
  • the signing of an executive order "PARDON" by the Governor in 1932, to release aging, ex-con gangster Roy "Mad Dog" Earle (Humphrey Bogart) from Mossmoor Prison after serving time for eight years as a bank robber; outside the prison gates, Earle was met by another gangster Big Mac (Donald MacBride) to plan another heist, but Earle's first wish was to walk to the nearby park: "Just as soon as I make sure that grass is still green and trees are still growing"
The Pardon and Release of Roy Earle
  • the touching sequence of Roy's development of a relationship with club-footed, disabled, and limping young Velma Goodhue (Joan Leslie), when they marveled together at the stars and planets in the sky: "Look at the stars....It's always like this out in the desert. You see that bright, blue star up there? Look at it sparkle. And look. You see that other one?...Now, that's Jupiter...You see different stars at different times. They change with the seasons. Now, look. You see that one twinkling over there? Well, that's Venus....You know, sometimes, when you're out in the night and you look up at the stars, you can almost feel the motion of the Earth. It's like a little ball that's turning through the night, with us hanging on to it"; Velma responded: "Why, that sounds like poetry, Roy. It's pretty"
  • the heartbreaking scene of Earle's visit to see the post-surgical Velma (after he had paid for her corrective surgery) who revealed that she had a 30 year-old boyfriend-fiancee named Lon Preiser, a divorcee who offered to pay Roy back: ("I ought to pay you back. After all, it's a lot of money"), but Roy flatly refused: "Forget it. Think nothin' of it"; Velma encouraged him: "But I'd like you to take it, Roy. After all, Lon and I are going to be married very soon, and he can afford it easily" - Roy was crushed and also angry at Lon: ("Yeah, that's swell...I don't like you. I don't like the way you talk, and I don't like your friend. I don't like to think of her being married to ya"); Velma meanly solidified her breakup with Roy: "You've got no right to say such things. Lon's gonna be my husband, and I love him. And you're just jealous and mean because I don't want you. I never wanted you"
  • the film's suspenseful manhunt high up in the Sierra Mountains as police pursued Earle in a doomed last stand after a failed jewel robbery at the Tropico Hotel, a resort in California
  • Roy's moll Marie Garson (Ida Lupino), who refused the authorities' demand to call out to Earle to lure and bring him out into the open during the pursuit: ("No, I won't....I won't, I tell you...He's gonna die anyway, he'd rather it was this way. Go on, kill him! All of you. Kill him, kill him, do you hear?")
  • the sequence of a sniper shooting Earle, when the fugitive heard barking from his mongrel dog Pard who was running up the steep cliff to him; he stood up and called out "Marie!" - and was shot by a sniper's bullet from behind; Marie screamed from down below; after Earle's body rolled down the steep rocky cliff, his dog Pard licked his hand
  • Marie's questioning: "Mister, what does it mean when a man crashes out?"; she was told: "Crashes out? That's a funny question for you to ask now, sister. It means he's free"; she sadly repeated the word "Free" - questioning Roy's unnecessary death but finding some comfort in it
  • the final, blurry fadeout on Marie's tear-stained face as it filled the frame before a pan up to the mountains

Earle Pardoned

Earle Falling in Love with Velma

Meeting Velma's Boyfriend-Fiancee Lon After the Surgery

Roy with Pard and Marie

Earle Shot by a Sniper in the High Sierra

Marie Lamenting Earle's Death

Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959, Fr.)

In Alain Resnais' first feature film, one of the essential French New Wave films, told in a non-linear narrative, about the lengthy conversations between a French woman and her Japanese lover, with brief intercut flashbacks representing their memories:

  • the opening, lengthy montage set in Hiroshima (in the aftermath of the bombing, in August of 1957) of an erotic love scene in a hotel bed during a brief love affair (their first sexual encounter) between two adulterous married individuals - seen first as anonymous people
  • their discreetly-nude bodies were held together and entwined in an embrace - with both radioactive sparkling ash and then rain blowing across their sweaty skin (recollecting the horrific scenes of devastation caused by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima)
Embracing Nude Bodies Recalling the Hiroshima Bombing
  • the visually horrific documentary images of the massive destruction in the blast city seen in reconstructions in the Hiroshima Peace museum, including the photographs of burn victims and mutilated survivors ("...the scorched metal, the twisted metal, metal made as vulnerable as flesh. I saw the bouquet of bottle caps. Who would have thought? Human flesh, suspended, as if still alive, its agony still fresh. Stones, charred stones, shattered stones. Anonymous masses of hair that the women of Hiroshima, upon waking in the morning, would find had fallen out") - although the man denied her assertions that she had seen everything in the museum: "You saw nothing in Hiroshima. Nothing" although she insisted: "I saw everything"
  • the two lovers were: lonely French film actress "Elle/She" (Emmanuelle Riva) who lived in Paris, and Japanese architect "Lui/He" (Eiji Okada) (he had fought in WWII)
  • the sequence of her victimization, shaming and suffering (when it was revealed in France that she had loved a German soldier and her hair was shorn) likened to the victims of the atomic bomb blast
  • after a night of sex and talking, Elle/She stood on the hotel balcony-terrace the next morning wearing a kimono as she drank from a cup, and watching bicyclists on the street far below - she returned to the sight of her still-sleeping lover Lui/He in bed
  • in the so-called "finger-twitch" sequence (the complete sequence was composed of 13 shots and lasted almost two minutes), she looked down at Lui/He's outstretched arm and right hand on the bed that was slightly twitching - suddenly, she had a traumatic, haunting, and terrible subliminal memory returning to 14 years earlier (an intrusion of the past into the present) - to the similar sight of her dying, bloody-faced German lover's twitching hand in Nevers, France (during the liberation of France)
  • when the Japanese man stirred and awoke, she asked: "What were you dreaming about?"; he replied: "I don't know - why?" - she replied: "I watched your hands. They move when you sleep" - in response, he opened and closed his left hand, and said: "Maybe it's when you dream without knowing it" (or "Sometimes a person dreams without knowing it")
  • in the film's ending, they both decided to depart and admitted distance between them - they gave each other names: "Hiroshima is my name" - "And your name is Nevers - in France"
The Two Lovers:

French Film Actress Known as "Elle/She"
(Emmanuelle Riva)

Japanese Architect Known as "Lui/He"
(Eiji Okada)

"Finger Twitch" Sequence Causing Her Subliminal Memories

"What were you dreaming about?"

The Couple's Departure

His Girl Friday (1940)

In this classic Howard Hawks screwball comedy of Hollywood's Golden Age - from Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's stage play 'The Front Page', about the relationship between a devil-may-care newspaper editor and his smart ace-reporter (and ex-wife), reunited by an explosive, late-breaking news-story several months after their divorce:

  • the frantic, overlapping whirlwind nature of the fast-talking dialogue in the opening scene (and throughout the entire film) between big-city Morning Post newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) and his ace ex-reporter/ex-wife Hildegard "Hildy" Johnson (Rosalind Russell); she told him: "I'm fond of you, you know...I often wish you weren't such a stinker!"; he seriously proposed working together again: "What's the use of fighting, Hildy? I'll tell you what you do. You come back to work on the paper, and if we find we can't get along in a friendly fashion, we'll get married again...Certainly, I haven't any hard feelings"; she tried to convince him that things were over between them: "The paper's gonna have to get along without me. So will you. It didn't work out, Walter"
  • Hildy's announcement that she was engaged and soon getting married: "I'm getting married, Walter, and I'm also getting as far away from this newspaper business as I can get...I'm through"; to convince her otherwise, Walter asserted: "You're a newspaperman...You're a journalist, Hildy!" - she disagreed and described what she was trying to get away from: "Peeking through keyholes, chasing after fire engines, waking people up in the middle of the night to ask them if Hitler's gonna start another war, stealing pictures off old ladies? I know all about reporters, Walter... What's the use? Walter, you wouldn't know what it means to want to be respectable and live a halfway normal life. The point is, I'm, I'm through"
  • the scene of Walter's first meeting with Hildy's staid, dull, but devoted insurance salesman fiancee Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), but at first mistaking an older Mr. Davis in the office as Bruce
  • the many classic one-liners, such as Hildy's description of Walter's charm to her fiancee Bruce: "Well, he comes by it naturally. His grandfather was a snake"
  • the hilarious restaurant-luncheon scene with Walter and Hildy's fiancee Bruce, with Walter's unending conniving to find a way to dislodge Hildy, sabotage her imminent marriage and stop the couple's impending move to Albany to live in Bruce's mother's house, after leaving on the night train to Albany: Walter (sarcastically): "Oh, you're gonna live with your mother?...Oh, that will be nice! Yes, yes, a home with mother - in Albany too!"
  • the scene in the newspaper's press room, when there were reports that convicted murderer and death-row prisoner Earl Williams (John Qualen), nicknamed "mock-turtle" by Burns, had escaped from the county jail with a gun; on the phone, Hildy reported the exclusive 'scoop' news-story of the escape to Burns (costing her $450 for which she demanded reimbursement): "All right, now here's your story. The jailbreak of your dreams. It seems that expert Dr. Egelhoffer, the profound thinker from New York, was giving Williams a final sanity test in the Sheriff's office - you know, sticking a lot of pins in him so that he could get his reflexes. Well, he decided to re-enact the crime exactly as it had taken place, in order to study Williams' powers of co-ordination...Of course, he had to have a gun to re-enact the crime with. And who do you suppose supplied it? Peter B. Hartwell, 'B' for brains...Well, the Sheriff gave his gun to the Professor and the Professor gave it to Earl, and Earl shot the Professor right in the classified ads...No 'ads.' Ain't it perfect? If the Sheriff had unrolled a red carpet and loaned Williams an umbrella, it couldn't have been more ideal...Egelhoffer wasn't badly hurt. They took him to the County Hospital..."
  • to complicate matters, after the call, escaped convict Williams entered the press room, and confronted Hildy at gunpoint
  • the sequence when she found herself on two phone calls, bragging to both Bruce and Walter on the phone: (to Walter on her right): "Walter, get this. I've got Earl Williams. Here, yeah, right in the press room. Honest, on the level. Hurry, I need you. Right." (to Bruce on her left): "Bruce, the best thing in the world has happened. I've captured Earl Williams. You know, the murderer"
  • frantic about the situation, she hid Earl Williams in the room's roll-top desk; during the tumultuous scene, as newsmen, the police and Burns all gathered in the press room, Walter attempted to convince Hildy to stay rather than meet her fiancee Bruce and leave for Albany: "How many times you got a murderer locked up in a desk? Once-in-a-lifetime. Hildy, you got the whole city by the seat of the pants...This isn't just a story you're covering. It's a revolution. This is the greatest yarn in journalism since Livingston discovered Stanley...This isn't just a newspaper story, Hildy. It's a career. And you standin' there bellyache-ing about whether you're catchin' an eight o'clock train or a nine o'clock train"; at the same time, Bruce badgered and pleaded with Hildy to leave with him while she was frantically typing the story she called "the biggest thing in my life"
  • the signaling system ("Three taps is me. Don't forget") between Burns and Williams backfired, when Burns was denouncing the accusation of Bruce's indignant mother Mrs. Baldwin (Alma Kruger), that "They had some kind of a murderer in here, and they were hiding him" - Walter righteously pounded three times on the top of the roll-top desk to accentuate his denial of her accusation: "Madam. You're a Cock-Eyed Liar, and you know it"; there were three answering knocks from the inside of the desk; with guns drawn, the authorities counted to three, then opened the desk - Williams emerged and pleaded: "Go ahead, shoot me"; as Williams was taken away, many of the insensitive reporters began to phone in the sensationalized news of Williams' capture as the camera tracked past them: "Williams was unconscious when they opened the desk...Williams put up a desperate struggle, but the police overpowered him...He offered no resistance...He might shoot out with the cops but his gun wasn't workin...He broke through a whole cordon of police...The Morning Post just turned Williams over to the Sheriff"
Fugitive Williams Revealed Hiding in Roll-Top Desk
  • in the film's conclusion, Earl Williams was reprieved, and Bruce was thought to be on his way home on the train with his mother to Albany; Walter and Hildy had successfully teamed together and reunited as reporters; she would write the story of Earl Williams' reprieve, and the two would get married - but they would have to spend their planned honeymoon in Albany to cover a newsworthy story about a strike -- not in Niagara Falls as Hildy wished - (Walter: "We're going to Albany. I wonder if Bruce can put us up?")
  • the film's improvised closing line was a suggestion delivered by Walter to Hildy about her suitcase (held in her arms) as they exited the Press Room and spoke to each other under the door frame's arch; as always, he strode in front of her, and observed that she should properly carry her own suitcase: "Say, why don't you carry that in your hand?"

Walter Burns (Cary Grant) with Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell)

Mistaking an Older Mr. Davis as Bruce

Restaurant Luncheon Scene with Hildy's Fiancee Bruce

Hildy on the Phone Calling Walter About a Rumored Prison Break: "What's the Story?"

Fugitive Earl Williams in the Press Room with Hildy

Hildy's Two Phone Conversations at Once

Confusion in the Press Room

Ending: Leaving the Press Room for their Re-marriage and Honeymoon

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)

In this very primitive all-star musical from MGM Studios and director Charles "Chuck" Riesner - a lavish, star-studded musical comedy revue show hosted by two Master of Ceremonies: Hollywood's Conrad Nagel, and Broadway's 'wise-guy' Jack Benny:

  • the debut presentation of the signature tune "Singin' in the Rain" by ukelele-playing Cliff (Ukelele Ike) Edwards (the future voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney's Pinocchio) - a leitmotif throughout the entire picture, with a chorus of showgirls in raincoats and hats during a downpour; the song was also reprised later when the entire cast appeared in slick raincoats and hats, in a two-strip Technicolor segment
Singin' in the Rain
  • other highlights included Joan Crawford in a jazzy number with vigorous arm and leg movements ("Gotta Feelin' For You"), comedy magic tricks from Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton ("Tableau of the Jewels"), and others including Bessie Love (singing "I Never Knew I Could Do a Thing Like That"), Marion Davies (performing "Tommy Atkins on Parade" and tap-dancing on a large drum), and Marie Dressler (singing "For I'm the Queen")
Laurel & Hardy
Marie Dressler: "For I'm the Queen"
Gus Edwards: "Lon Chaney..."
  • also, Norma Shearer and John Gilbert's performance (in color) of the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet", and the fantastic musical production number by Gus Edwards: "Lon Chaney's Gonna Get You If You Don't Watch Out"

Buster Keaton: "Tableau of the Jewels"

Cliff Edwards: "Nobody But You"

Bessie Love: "I Never Knew I Could Do a Thing Like That"

Joan Crawford: "Gotta Feelin' For You"

Norma Shearer and John Gilbert: "Romeo and Juliet"

Home Alone (1990)

In director Chris Columbus' family comedy:

  • the scene of 8 year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) in front of the mirror - speaking to his mirror image about personal grooming - without his parents to assist. He combed his hair, applied Right Guard deodorant under his armpits, and put aftershave lotion on his face - causing him to scream: "I took a shower washing every body part with actual soap, including all my major crevices, including in between my toes and in my belly button which I never did before but sort of enjoyed. I washed my hair with adult formula shampoo and used cream rinse for that just-washed shine. I can't seem to find my toothbrush, so I'll pick one up when I go out today. Other than that, I'm in good shape"

Home From the Hill (1960)

In director Vincente Minnelli's highly-stylized, widescreen CinemaScopic, romantic, coming-of-age melodrama set in the late 1950s in small-town Texas, about a dysfunctional western family:

  • the main characters: strident, arrogant, callous and authoritative town patriarch Captain Wade Hunnicutt (Robert Mitchum) - a philandering macho man with hunting guns and dogs and booze -- lovelessly married to aloof, angry, bitter, frigid, scornful and estranged, blue-eyed wife Hannah (Eleanor Parker), with an acknowledged, gullible and soft 17-year-old son Theron Hunnicutt (George Hamilton)
  • the early duck hunting scene when Wade was nearly killed (wounded) by irate, recently-married cuckolded husband John Ellis (Tom Gilson); Wade was saved by his loyal and ambitious hired ranch-hand Raphael "Rafe" Copley (George Peppard) who defensively pushed him away - revealed later to be Wade's unacknowledged illegitimate son (from a much earlier liaison with Ann Copley before marrying Hannah) and Theron's half-brother - establishing the fact that Wade had a well-known reputation for possessively womanizing most of the town's females
  • as Theron was about to turn 18, Wade (in his study with red leather sofas and dogs running about, and a shotgun in Theron's hands) worried about his son's lack of manliness; Wade's decision was to indoctrinate Theron into a macho lifestyle (hunting, drinking, etc) with the help of Rafe; he delivered a memorable speech to Theron: "I'm not sendin' you out for game. I'm not askin' you to go out and bring meat home for the table. What I'm talkin' about is comin' face to face with your own courage, your own cunning, your own endurance, because what every man hunts out there is himself...I had something from my father that his father gave to him. I'm gonna give it to you. It's late but it's not too late. You know one of these days, I'm gonna die, Theron. You're gonna come into 40,000 acres of land: cotton, beef, goats, timber. Takes a special kind of man to handle that. Kind of man that walks around with nothing in his pockets. No identification because everyone knows who you are. No cash because anyone in town would be happy to lend you anything you need. No keys 'cause you don't keep a lock on a single thing you own. And no watch because time waits on you. What I'm saying is, you're gonna have to stand up and be counted. You're gonna be known in these parts as a man or as a momma's boy"
  • Wade also expressed his worry about excessive coddling to Hannah and told her about Theron's reputation as a self-doubting Momma's boy: ("You've had him for seventeen years. Now I want him. I'm gonna take him out in the company of men. Whether you like it or not, Hannah, that's boy's gonna come of age...You can't stop me")
  • Rafe's words of advice to Theron: "You gotta learn to make out on your own. These tears and cryin' and carryin' on is a waste of time. Colored folks know that, and little white orphan boys gotta learn it too, so hitch up your pants and be a man. I never cried again where anyone could see me"
  • the exciting two-day pig-hunting chase sequence when Theron plunged into the swampy woods and finally killed a huge tusked wild boar on his own - proving his strength, masculinity, identity, and receiving his father's acceptance
  • the scene of Theron's growing friendship and eventual scheduled date (arranged by Rafe!) with tomboyish Elizabeth "Libby" Halstead (Luana Patten), the daughter of Albert Halstead (Everett Sloane), a local merchant-businessman - when Theron went to the door to pick up Libby to take her to a celebratory, coming-out pig-killing BBQ party, he was denied even entering by her raging and judgmental father, without an explanation (but obviously due to the reputation and history of infidelity of Wade)
  • Hannah's first cemetery encounter with Rafe at a pauper's burial ground where he was tending the gravesite of his own mother, Ann Copley; afterwards, Rafe walked along the riverside with a hoe over his shoulders (looking like a prisoner in stocks), and came upon Theron enjoying an amorous picnic scene with Libby at a secluded spot; afterwards they would engage in love-making
  • Theron's confusion and outrage upon learning from Hannah about his family's dysfunctionality and his father's past history of cheating: ("Everyone knows about your father...Oh, he's not the kind of a man you think he is. Why, there's hardly a woman in town whose name hasn't been linked with his at one time or another"), and the suggestion of his own cursed, passed-down tendency to continue his father's unfaithfulness; due to his emotionally-scarred upbringing, Theron retaliated by breaking up with Libby and swearing off marriage
  • the conflict between father and son -- after being told by Hannah that he was Rafe's half-brother, Theron challenged and confronted his father regarding Rafe: "I don't want any part of you....He's the best there is, and if you were any kind - if you were any kind of a man, you'd be proud of him and love him!" Wade countered: "His mother was a tramp, a sandhill tacky havin' her child by the edge of a ditch" - Theron renounced his father and moved away to take a job in a cotton mill
  • in a supermarket diner, the scene of Libby telling Rafe that he ought to be eating more healthy foods, followed by her tearful and despairing confession to him about feeling disgraced that she was pregnant with Theron's child; a compassionate Rafe was persuaded to marry Libby to legitimize her situation, and they became husband and wife
  • the scene of Wade shot to death in his home by a volatile, unseen intruder (revealed as Albert), who wrongly thought through town rumors that Libby's baby was actually Wade's; to seek revenge, Theron pursued Albert and gunned him down (in the same place that he shot the boar) - the killing was ruled self-defense; Theron then told Rafe that he could never face Libby again (after shooting her father) and departed from the town forever
  • in the final cemetery scene when Hannah was visiting Wade's gravesite, she met up with Rafe and showed him the headstone inscription that clearly acknowledged that Wade was the "beloved father" of two sons: Raphael and Theron; she accepted him as one of her own, and agreed to visit his son (actually Theron's) - her grand-son

Duck Hunting Accident

Wade with "Rafe"

Wade with Wife Hannah

Wade's Talk About Manliness with Son Theron

Theron's Killing of a Huge Boar


Rafe at Gravesite of His Mother

Theron's Love-Making with Libby


Supermarket Diner Scene: Rafe with Libby Discussing Her Pregnancy by Theron

Horror of Dracula (1958, UK) (aka Dracula)

In talented director Terence Fisher's classic Technicolored Dracula horror film - the first of the UK's Hammer Studios' horror films about Dracula for the next two decades - a superb, Gothic, blood-drenched tale of the cat-and-mouse game between Count Dracula and his arch nemesis Dr. Van Helsing set in the late 1880s:

  • after the title credits, the camera descended into a castle's cellar where it located a vault-crypt bearing the label: "DRACULA"; after a forward tracking shot, the label was covered with dripping blood from above
  • the opening voice-over narration as a red book was opened: "The Diary of Jonathan Harker. Third of May, 1885. At last, my long journey is drawing to its close. What the eventual end will be, I cannot foresee. But whatever may happen, I can rest secure that I will have done all in my power to achieve success. The last lap of my journey from the village of Klausenberg proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated due to the reluctance on the part of the coach driver to take me all the way. As there was no other transport available, I was forced to travel the last few kilometers on foot before arriving at Castle Dracula. The castle appeared innocuous enough in the warm sun, and all seemed normal but for one thing: There were no birds singing. As I crossed the wooden bridge, and entered the gateway, it suddenly seemed to become much colder, due, no doubt, to the icy waters of the mountain torrent I had just crossed. However, I deemed myself lucky to have secured this post and did not intend to falter in my purpose"
  • the sequence of Harker's arrival at Castle Dracula (posing as a librarian but intending to destroy Dracula), where he was first greeted by a buxom female (Valerie Gaunt, credited as Vampire Woman), who inexplicably asked Harker to help her escape, then rushed off by the sudden appearance of the dashing yet reclusive, blood-sucking and predatory Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) at the top of the stairs with his greeting to Harker once he descended and was pictured in a full-closeup: ("I am Dracula. And I welcome you to my house"); Dracula showed Harker to his prepared bedroom (where his door was locked from the outside)
Count Dracula's Entrance and Greeting to Harker
  • the continuation of Harker's diary, where he wrote the words (in voice-over): "At last, I have met Count Dracula. He accepts me as a man who has agreed to work among his books, as I intended. It only remains for me now to await the daylight hours when, with God's help, I will forever end this man's reign of terror"
  • slightly later, Harker was again approached by the Vampire Woman desperate begging him to take her away from her imprisonment by the evil Dracula: "Is it not reason enough that he keeps me locked up in this house, holds me against my will? You can have no idea what an evil man he is! Or what terrible things he does! I could not. I dare not try to leave on my own. He would find me again, I know. But with you to help me, I would have a chance. You must help me! You must! You're my only hope! You must!" - but then she unexpectedly bit at Harker's neck, and Dracula made a sudden entrance into the room, with blood dripping from his fangs and blood-shot eyes; he ran across the top of a table, tossed her away onto the floor, fought off Harker by squeezing his neck, and then carried the vampirish female away
Vampire Woman Begging Harker to Be Saved
Vampire Woman Biting Harker's Neck
Dracula with Bloody Fangs

  • later, Harker used a mirror to inspect his neck - and found two prominent bite marks; Harker mused: "I have become a victim of Dracula and the woman in his power. It may be that I am doomed to be one of them. If that is so, I can only pray that whoever finds my body will possess the knowledge to do what is necessary to release my soul"
  • the sequence of Harker finding the coffin of the Vampire Woman, and pounding a wooden stake into her heart (seen in dark silhouette on the wall) - the release of her soul as she screamed awakened Dracula from his sleep; he appeared at the door of the crypt, and as he shut the door behind him and stood above the trapped Harker, the scene ended in darkness
  • after Harker's demise (and becoming another 'undead' vampire), Count Dracula took an inordinate interest in Harker's fiancee Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh), the sister of Arthur Holmwood (Michael Gough) who was married to Mina Holmwood (Melissa Stribling); in Karlstadt, the helpless Lucy was suffering from anemia - she had become Dracula's next victim (she both anticipated and feared his arrival into her bedroom to take her blood, by opening her window and removing the crucifix around her neck)
  • the drinking blood scene of Dracula approaching toward Mina and his seductive, blood-sucking of her neck
  • the scene of Dracula's arch nemesis - obsessed vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) who suddenly understood and realized where Dracula had been hiding; after Arthur asked maid Gerda (Olga Dickie) to retrieve wine from the cellar of the Holmwood home ("Gerta, will you fetch another bottle?"), she expressed extreme fear: "Oh, sir, I don't like to. You know what happened last time when I disobeyed Mrs. Holmwood's orders...Madam told me the other day that, I must on no account, go down to the cellar" - after a pregnant pause, Van Helsing rushed to the cellar where he discovered Dracula's empty, earth-filled coffin where he had been sleeping during the day; Van Helsing placed a crucifix in the coffin, then chased after Dracula, who was in the process of kidnapping Mina from her bed; Dracula took Mina to his castle as the maid exclaimed: "He looked like the devil!...He came in here and picked Madam up like she was a baby!"
Dracula's Disintegration in the Rays of the Sun
  • the gripping and memorable finale - a battle between the forces of Darkness and Light - between Van Helsing and Dracula who fought throughout the Count's castle; Van Helsing was able to weaken Dracula by running across two table-tops, leaping into the air and ripping down full-length library curtains to let in sunlight - and then crossing two candlesticks into the shape of a crucifix to force Dracula backwards, causing him to disintegrate in the rays of the sun (mostly off-camera) - his ashes were then blown away in the wind

Dracula's Coffin-Vault

Harker Inspecting Fang Bite Marks on Neck

Harker Staking
Vampire Woman

Harker's Fiancee Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh) - Luring Dracula to Her Side

Dracula's Blood-Sucking of Mina

Vampire Hunter Dr. Van Helsing
(Peter Cushing)

(alphabetical by film title)

Intro | Quiz | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | B6 | B7 | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | E
F1 | F2 | F3 | F4 | G1 | G2 | G3 | G4 | H1 | H2 | H3 | I1 | I2 | I3 | J | K | L1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | M1 | M2 | M3
| M5 | M6 | N1 | N2 | N3 | O1 | O2 | P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5Q | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | T1 | T2 | T3 | T4 | T5 | U | V | W1 | W2 | W3 | W4 | YZ

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